A few weeks ago my brother sent me the following video and asked if I could write about it on the blog. He challenged me to defend academia and promised that he would respond by commenting on why this video resonated so deeply with him. So, although I agree with many of the comments Dave from Boyinaband makes in his video, I’m going to offer you several reasons why our education system can be, and has often been, a good thing.
1. Our education system was designed to promote equality
In his video on the history of education, Salman Kahn explains how our contemporary education system was shaped by ideologies that valued class equality. According to Kahn, the Prussian education system, despite its faults, insisted on providing public education for all citizens. Meanwhile, even the “Committee of Ten”, the group of educators who originally introduced standardized curriculum, were motivated by their belief that economic status should not prevent students from having access to “higher order” skills. Standardization of curriculum meant that every student would (ideally) have access to the kind of information that was once restricted to the elite.
In our weekly discussion yesterday, Evan made mention of “‘It’s Not Easy Being Red’ Gordon,” a reference to the political blog and comic strip I used to write. For anyone who might not be aware by now, yours truly is a Marxist.
And yeah, here’s the obligatory “no, Stalin was to Communism what the Spanish Inquisition was to Christianity; no, we’re about dismantling the state, not expanding it, and no, we don’t like Obama either so please stop saying he’s one of us.”
While I try to keep my admittedly extreme Anarcho-Trotskyist views out of the blog, there’s really no denying that they affect my value system, and while most of the time this means I’m frothing at the mouth at whatever new abomination consumerism spits out, every once in a great while, it means something really catches my attention and admiration.